Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Uganda and Botswana

I find that I have multiple personality disorder....

OK. Not that melodramatic. Split personality, really. I am many things to many people, a chameleone that adapts and blends into the environment. But, when it comes to splitting my presence.... I kind of find it hard.

Am at a place where apparently, I can post to my blog, but, find it difficult to access it. Maybe the ISP, but, our world is diverse, isnt it?

Cruising the net, I find some interesting things. In Botswana, someone dares to believe the law will be on their side. They are gay, and being gay, they believe they should not be criminalised. So, they challenge that law in the courts.

High Court Judge Zibani Makwade has been allocated a case in which a confessed gay, Caine Yougman is suing state over the criminalisation of homosexual relationships. The dates of the case has not been set.

In his founding affidavit, Youngman, 29 says he has never been able to freely express his sexuality because of the law that criminalises sex between people of the same sex referring to it as 'carnal knowledge against the order of nature'.

"In order to do so I have to cross the border to South Africa where my sexuality is recognised and protected by law." Youngman says he hates to cross the border constantly as he suffers grave inconveniences both financially and travel wise.

"Sometimes I fear for my safety in South Africa, in fact I was nearly hijacked before, many times I feel like a criminal when I enjoy my sexuality and I suffer prejudice in the communities when I openly express my sexuality."

He says the prejudice is entrenched by the government as manifested by its refusal to register as an association of gays called Lesbians, Gays and Bisexual of Botswana (LEGABIBO) in which he is an active and founding member.

Youngman says it is his belief that this denial was attempting to give credence to Section 164 of the Botswana Penal Code which section criminalises sexual acts between people of the same sex.

"Furthermore, prospects of registration in the future are slim because the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs is on record as saying his office would have difficulties in registering LEGABIBO and decriminalising homosexuality."

He believes that existence of section 164 effectively sanctions discrimination against him on the basis of sexual orientation, and violates fundamental human rights and freedoms inherent in all human beings as guaranteed and protected by the Constitution of Botswana.

"The constitution of Botswana under section 3(a) provides for the protection of everyone's right to 'life, liberty, and security of the person and the protection of the law' whatever his/her 'race, place of origin, political..., creed or sex..."

Hmmmmm It does sound interesting. I will definitely want to see what happens.


The Worst place to be gay in the world?

Miles came to Uganda. And, he had his take on the country. Well, Miles is gay. It was a very personal experience for him, coming to Uganda and seeing what Ugandans think about him personally.

Proud, happy Ugandans are acting realy puzzled by all the hullaballoo. Surely, surely, we are not that bad?

Fact is, I am laughing. Because it simply is true. Yes, with regards to my sexual orientation, my country, Uganda is that bad..... And, it is good that you at least have the chance to see how ridiculously hard you make life for us gay Ugandans. With your embrace of hate of us, gay Ugandans.

What am I going on about? I keep coming across reaction to BBC Miles documentary, and Ugandans are not happy with the characterisation. Surely, surely, this is a lie? Nope. It just aint a lie. And, yes, Uganda is in the spotlight, but since it is our leaders like Bahati, Buturo and Ssempa who came up with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, we richly deserve our place in the sun. Here is an excerpt from the blog in the Observer.

What do you want Uganda to be famous for?

Uganda holds a reputation for being beautiful, peaceful, hospitable, a haven for tourists and investors; the 'Pearl of Africa'.

Recently Uganda has been making headlines. On the February 14, 2011, the BBC aired a documentary, The world's worst place to be gay. Gay DJ Scott Mills travelled to Uganda, spoke with people on the streets of Kampala, asking their opinion on homosexuals, and some of the responses were, "I hate them"; "they should be killed", and "it's disgusting".

Mills visited a gay bar in Kampala where men spoke of the fear they live in. One young lesbian told him that she had been raped in an attempt to cure her of her orientation, leaving her pregnant and HIV-infected.

Then came his encounter with legislator David Bahati, who, Mills says, wanted him arrested. The documentary focused on the alleged institutionalisation of homophobia in Uganda, the belief that it can be cured and the negative opinions that many hold on it.

Incidentally, some are proud of the image the documentary portrayed of Ugandan society. Kampala based graduate Nicholas Bainomugisha said, "I am glad that the BBC have shown such a programme; it shows the world that we will not accept such ungodly behaviour."

Manchester based business manager, Flora Namirembe, was also impressed by the hard-line opinions of Ugandans interviewed.

"Why should Ugandans have to hide their opinions because the West does not like it?" she said

Actually, I am kind of glad. Because, for once, we are beginning to debate, even in the media, and honestly, the unthinking hatred that Ugandans have for us, gay Ugandans.

So, if it takes them looking at themselves and seeing an unflattering image in the mirror... well, it is better you see than you congratulate yourself on your fantastic perception of good. I love the first sentence of that article.

Uganda holds a reputation for being beautiful, peaceful, hospitable, a haven for tourists and investors; the 'Pearl of Africa'.

Uh.... talk about Kony, and the war in the North... sometimes our capacity at selective perception is truly frightening. I wonder how people will react to the BBC documentary which was filmed recently in South Africa, featuring Bahati?

Have a good day, I am still surfing, even when I cannot see my blog at all.


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